Monday, December 29, 2008


This is what happens when your dog doesn't respect your 5 second exposure.

Sleeping Dylan

Thursday, December 25, 2008

San Francisco

No class, no work so I'm finally getting around to photoshopping the highlights from our trip in October:Point Bonita lighthouse.

Painted Ladies adjacent to Alamo Square.

Dan and Dave locked in an epic battle of wits, strategy, and now athleticism.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best Friends

It has been snowing for a few days now. That is pretty unusual for Seattle, and the roads have not been wonderful. I don't mind driving in snow myself, but the drivers around here are not very trustworthy in inclement winter weather. As a result, I haven't been out to see Jack since Monday. I usually go every day, so I am in horse withdrawal!

I was looking around at old pictures on my computer tonight and found some of my favorite old pictures of me and my best friends. Both Leah and Jill still live in Minnesota, but fortunately we are still pretty close. They are my oldest friends from middle school, and we used to all ride at the same barn. Little did my mom know when she got me riding lessons that she would also introduce me to some forever friends!

Leah and I both rode at the Junior/Young Rider Team Championships one year in Mason City, IA. It was so fun to have the experience of traveling to a big show together! I rode Buddy, and she rode her horse, Rhett. This is me, Leah, and our other friend, Kim on her horse Bobby.

Our team got third place, which was pretty exciting for me! Leah went on to show Rhett up to Prix St. George level, and I think schooling some I1 movements. They are superstars!

Jill and I took lessons together for years. She is actually the reason I started riding Buddy. We both had lessons with other girls who ended up quitting, so we got paired up but both rode the same school horse. She kept riding Rainmaker, an Appaloosa, and I switched to Buddy.

We did several schooling shows together, which was always exciting. Jill rode a Saddlebred named Fonzie for years and they were a great pair! This picture is probably us in eighth grade. We look like babies!

Buddy and Fonzie were pasture friends, which made us happy. We were a good group that I will never forget. We used to do these "picture days" where we'd bathe the boys and clean ourselves up too. I'd drag my sister or my dad out to be our photographer. This is probably tenth grade.

Jill and I shared stable lockers, polo wraps, saddle pads, you name it. I still miss taking lessons with Jill!

So many summer nights were spent at Jill's, Leah's, or my house so we could spend as much time at the barn as possible! Even though Jill and I didn't have our own horses, we made the most of what we had. When we went off to college, Jill and I always tried to come back and cheer on Leah and Rhett at horse shows.

Now, through weddings, new jobs, and moving, we are still best friends. I think of them as two more of my sisters. I love you both!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

I spent Friday night and most of Saturday baking and decorating cookies for Christmas. I made three batches because we are going to give them to friends as Christmas gifts. I usually decorate with buttercream frosting, but I just bought a book called Cookie Craft in hopes of getting some tips for trying out royal icing. The book is beautiful and extremely helpful! I am beyond happy with how the cookies turned out. I would not have attempted royal icing if it hadn't been for this book.

Here's me piping some details on a tray of snowmen. Like the Iowa State Cyclone apron?

I got this awesome set of snowflake cookie cutters at a kitchen store. I had seen a similar set in a catalog, so I was excited to try them out. I love how you can combine the sizes and detail cutters to make a lot of different snowflakes!

I think the snowmen are my favorites!

Aren't these gingerbread men adorable?

I am really happy with how all the colors turned out. I got some new gel food colors from a cake supply store in Seattle, and that red is amazing! This is actually not all the cookies, but you get the idea for how they turned out.

And the best part? They taste good too!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tree Skirt Planning

My mom has always been talented at making stuff with her sewing machine such as Halloween costumes and cute little aprons. One of my favorite things she has ever made is a Christmas tree skirt. Fortunately for me, I like to sew, too. Mom recently dug out the pattern she used to make her tree skirt and gave it to me!

Dave and I went to JoAnn Fabrics last weekend to pick out fabric. It was really nice to have him help me. Some of the fabrics I would have chosen he didn't like. So between the two of us, we came up with an even better combination than what I would have decided on myself. Not to mention, between the last bit of a gift card, two coupons, and a sale, we got $45 of fabric for $15!

The holly fabric on the bottom is flannel. It was Dave's idea to get flannel for the underside fabric that will be against the floor. His reasoning was it will stick to the carpet better and not slide around. This will be a good thing, because my family's dogs have a history of snoozing under the tree on the tree skirt! Good thinking, Dave!

I am not guaranteeing that the skirt will be done by this Christmas. However, we have almost two weeks off from work starting on Christmas Eve Day, so I will have a lot of time to work on it. This way I will for sure have it ready to go for next Christmas! Hopefully my sewing skills are up to par for this project. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I finally had enough of a lack of homework for us to take advantage of the unseasonably terrific weather to put up Christmas lights today on the house.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Braiding Practice

I have not been posting much lately. We've been so busy and I have not been taking pictures of anything, not even Thanksgiving! We were having so much fun eating, watching movies, playing games, and playing Wii that getting the camera out completely slipped my mind.

On the horse front, Jack has been off with a splint for the last week! I was brushing him last week for my lesson on Monday and noticed a huge bump on the inside of his right hind canon bone. He did not want me to touch it, and as soon as Anne ran her hand over it, she said it was definitely a splint. No riding for Jack! Fortunately it will get better, but it is just a waiting game.

Yesterday, while icing Jack's leg, I practiced my braiding. I actually love to braid, even though lots of people think it is boring. I had watched a video on YouTube (here)where a girl showed her method for doing button braids. I wanted to try it since it was different than the way I do regular hunter braids. It was so easy and fast! I usually do at least twenty hunter braids, but I only had to do ten button braids!

Here's me and Jack modeling the new braids. He looks annoyed here because I'm holding up his head and preventing him from eating. He's starving, can't you tell?

Here's a close up with Jack happily pigging out. I will definitely braid like this again. It didn't even matter that his mane was not thinned out very well. And I have been thinking he needs his mane shortened, but it was actually the perfect length.

I didn't bother French braiding his forelock, although I like doing that, too! Jack was happy to eat the long grass around the edges of the arena while I watched the Sunday jump lesson. Too bad we couldn't participate, but I am really glad I finally had time to try the new braids!

Fortunately I still had a horse to ride last week. My friend Stacy was in Europe with her husband, so I got to exercise her Thoroughbred, Amon. I wish I had a picture to post of me riding him. We had fun together. He is so different than Jack, always wanting to go faster, and very narrow to sit on. He really loves Stacy the best, but he warmed up to me after all the carrots and horse cookies I fed him over the last two weeks!